Report by Russell Woolf:
Entering Fitzwilliam playing fields on the final week of the 2019 season the weather was bright and sunny, the cricket gods were taunting us. Having had no cancellations due to bad weather in 2018 we have had more than our fair share of cancelled fixtures this season, totalling 8 so far. Paul Jordan celebrated his "most matches played in club history" record by winning the toss and electing to bat. Having agreed on 13x8ball overs and no re-bowling of wides and no balls (unless it was the last over) one part was omitted: retirements. This was a genuine oversight but would be a factor as the match played itself out.
Openers Qaiser Ahmed and Richard Rex safely played out the first 4 overs, taking the score to 33 without loss. Richard (19 off 17 balls) being particularly aggressive, helping anything drifting down the legside on its way toward the boundary backward of square. Enter into the game Huw Davies (1/36), guesting for Camborne tonight as they were two players short, and with his first ball he hit Richard's stumps to send him back to the pavillion. But that was as good as it was ever going to get for Cambourne as it turned into the Qaiser and Temoor exhibition show. The statistics are awesome:
Remnants finish on 170/1, our highest total of the season, despite the game being just 13 overs (104 balls) per side.
In reply Cambourne opened the batting with Michael McCann (27* off 41 balls) , the other Remnant guesting for them (who had a entertaining time wicket-keeping as he was hit by a no ball) and Sreenath (22 off 11 balls). They took the score to a comfortable 27 . . . until Michael cunningly ran out his partner with the classic "Yes . . . no . . . go back . . . sorry" technique. At the end of Naveen Chouksey (0-12) 2nd over. This brought Manesh (35 off 35 balls) to the crease and he and Michael proceed to move the innings forward effectively. With Alec Armstrong (0/24) having no success, Paul literally "turned" to the bowling skills of Nathan Wright (1/14) and Maha Ramanathan (0/26). Apart from the above "comedy classic" run out there were two other comical events to report. First, poor old Michael was hit "amidships" in the "crown jewels" or "goozegogs" and, after taking time to recover, the umpire innocently asked the scorers how many balls to come in the over unfortunately the answer was 2 so the reply from me had to be 2 "the same number of balls I hope the batsman has left". Second, Temoor made a mess of a stumping as Manesh missed the ball was out of his crease and had made no immediate effort to regain his ground leaving Geoff Hales to ruefully shake his head - it wouldn't have happened on his shift . . . especially off Woolfie's bowling!
At the end of the 7th over Cambourne had scored 63 runs whilst Remnants had only scored 53 at the same stage of the game, so they were definitely still in the game. Paul now brought on Saad Shoukat (0/10) and Seth Aycock (0/13), our quickest bowlers, but possibly a bit late as the light was starting to fade, albeit not nearly as much as last week due to our (amazingly) punctual start. Up until that point things had been very collegial in the pavilion, and I'd enjoyed scoring and chatting away to the Cambourne players; but now their captain, who was currently my co-scorer, took immediate umbrage at Paul's move and marched onto the pitch several times to remonstrate with him. He was sent back, with the batsman telling him that the light whilst not good wasn't that bad, something which was reflected by the fact that the current wicket partnership would eventually extend to 77 runs; but the captain was having none of it, claiming we were using "first team bowlers" against casual players who don't play league cricket. Now, while Saad and Seth bowl at a reasonable clip, most mid-week teams have one or two bowlers of comparable pace - and some, such as UCLES, have a whole side full of them.
In the end we only bowled two overs of pace, as Saad and Seth then shortened their run ups. Our 53-run victory was then completed by Nathan Wright, who returned to get his deserved wicket (and giving stand-in 'keeper Temoor his first stumping for the club), and skipper Paul Jordan (0/11).